Phil Proctor designed and built a giant metal spider for Sandy Springs’ “playable art” park because his wife and two daughters were terrified by the eight-legged creatures.

“I live in a house with three women,” he said. “They’re all scared of spiders. I thought it would be fun to make a spider that wasn’t scary, that was fun and approachable.”

This week, Proctor is installing his over-sized arachnid, called “Spiderwalk,” in the linear park alongside Abernathy Road. It’s the second piece of “playable art” to go up in the long-delayed Abernathy Linear Greenway Park. Much of the first artwork, a brick dragonfly, was built in

Phil Proctor discusses his design for ‘Spiderwalk,’ a ‘playable’ sculpture being installed at the Abernathy Linear Greenway Park in Sandy Springs. Construction crews work on the ground around the yellow body and head of the giant metal spider sculpture. Later, Proctor would add the spider’s legs.

2012.

City officials say completion of the $10 million, 20-acre park now is scheduled for May. The “playable art” pieces are to be installed by mid-March, city Recreation and Parks Director Ronnie Young said in an email.

The park is to include six works of public art that have been designed so children can play on them. The works were donated to the city by Northside Hospital.

Proctor, who lives in Atlanta, expected to spend about five days setting up his giant spider. Once the park opens, he said, his 7-year-old daughter can’t wait to climb the metal beast.

In fact, she’s already tried it out. She climbed it when he was assembling it in his workshop. His daughters, he said, made a special trip to see the finished spider.

“She was the first one on it.”

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.